A friend of mine and I were talking about the small rut I find myself crammed into as I begin writing Book Two of the Alex Conner Chronicles-Truth. It is that infamous rut, where you want to make sure you recap just enough from Book One to move new readers along or help previous readers, remember what happened. You must do this without boring them to tears or have them yelling at my pages, “so get on with it already!!”
This is an entirely new frontier for me having written my first book last year and working on the second, which I am trying to have out this summer. For those who have been with me on this journey all along, and those who are done reading Trust, the anticipation for Truth is palatable. Those readers probably don’t need much of a refresher, but there are those who may just pick up book two in the summer having never read book one and I don’t want to lose them. There are others who won’t get to book two for a while after reading book one and will need to recall the characters and events.
So here I am teetering on too much and too little right at the end of chapter two, and it’s been two weeks since I have moved forward. My shadow reader has read it, and my editor has it in her hands as I wait for the go ahead to move on. I have already done some back and forth with both which consists of tediously combing through comments and edits, with agreements, disagreements, cursing-all healthy parts of the process. They should lead to moving on, but I’m not and I shouldn’t have to wait for their go ahead really, I didn’t before so why am I? I can always backtrack but for some reason I’m not. I’m not because this is a new frontier. This is making book two as good or better than book one, this is what it takes to become a writer and it’s hard, especially when you also have a full-time job, two little ones, and of course time with friends and family. It’s hard to find the time to allow your brain to open up to the creativity when its exhausted, but I did it before, my chapters are mapped out for me…I just need to move forward.
So back to my wise friend; she asked how the blog was going, I know she follows it so I said I have the three up, and I haven’t written in a couple of weeks on that either. She suggested I write about the editing and this part of the process, something that other writers may relate to and potential writers need to think about. It took me eight hours to figure out how clever she was in the suggestion. Writing about it was just what I needed to do, but not only for others but for myself. I’ve been stuck and exhausted for over a week now in the doldrums of winter and the best way for me to get out of it was to write about my frustration, lack of momentum and ok a little bit of annoyance at myself. This process and the amount of editing it is taking to get the start of book two “just right”. I’m my own stinking version of Goldilocks not finding that perfect bed or bowl of porridge and I needed just to get it out of my head, onto the pages of this computer and out into the universe. Journaling has always been therapeutic for me, and many counselors see it is a significant step in the therapeutic process to lead to positive change. Alex is also quite a journalist herself in The Alex Conner Chronicles and boy does she need it!
So this is the weekend I forge ahead, so get ready my shadow reading buddy and my fabulous editor…I’m ready to kiss this rut good-bye, to Trust my instincts and push on…more chapters are coming your way!
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